Highland Show profits to fund improvements

The Royal Highland Showground at Ingliston, near Edinburgh, is to get a further facelift as some of last year’s record profits are put back into the existing facilities.

Last June’s event was the major contributor to the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland‘s best ever financial performance, which saw the operating surplus increase by £450,000 to £1.07m on a turnover of £6.23m.

“We again broke our own records last year with a massive 176,522 visitors over the four days of the show, bringing in an income of over £3.6m,” said chief executive Ray Jones, who has announced his retirement later this year after 12 years at the helm.

The Royal Highland Centre hosted more than 200 events last year attracting over a million visitors.

Chairman John Dykes described the society’s 250th anniversary year as an “unparalleled success”.

“The surplus will enable us to invest in the showground and allow us to support our work in promoting Scotland’s £8bn farming and food industry,” said Mr Dykes. “Informing and educating consumers lies at the core of our existence.”

Plans to move the showground to another site across the A9 at Norton Park to make way for an extension of Edinburgh Airport have been thwarted by BAA’s decision to put the project on hold until at least 2020. BAA say they cannot afford the £350 million estimated cost of relocating the showground.

A planning blight associated with the proposed move of the airport prevents the Society from expanding on its present Ingliston site but a master plan for the refurbishing and development of existing facilities will be unveiled at this year’s Royal Highland Show on 24-27 June.

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